How a feud with Ronaldo led to Van Nistelrooy's Man Utd exit

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The striker scored 150 goals for United in 219 appearances over five seasons, but left the club in acrimonious circumstances.

A new book has detailed how a feud between Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo was behind the Dutch striker leaving Manchester United in 2006.

Former Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s friend Alastair Campbell has published a new batch of diaries that were recorded between 2005 and 2007, shining a light on Van Nistelrooy's mysterious exit from the club. 

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Campbell has confirmed the long-rumoured story that the Dutch striker insulted Ronaldo, referencing his then-recently deceased father. 

"The United manager was not sure what was going to happen with Ruud van Nistelrooy," the extract from June 2006 reads.

"Very self-centred. The last straw was when he told Cristiano Ronaldo he had found a new dad in [assistant coach] Carlos [Queiroz} – just after Ronaldo’s dad, who was an alcoholic, had died.

“Carlos asked him to show respect and he said he didn’t respect anyone there.

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“He later apologised but CR was not having it.

“Alex sent van Nistelrooy home when he heard about it later. He was not sure what he was going to do with him.”

Van Nistelrooy left for Real Madrid in July 2006, where he played until joining Hamburg in 2010.